Language, Science, and Politics: The Politicization of Public Health

May 5, 2018

On December ​​16, 2017, the ​​​​Centers for Disease Prevention and Control and Prevention (CDC) staff were instructed not to use 7 words in its 2019 budget appropriation request: diversity, transgender, vulnerable, fetus, evidence-based, and science-based. These basic phrases are intrinsic to public health. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) offered alternative word choices, such as by modifying “evidence-based” with “community standards and wishes” and using “unborn child” instead of “fetus”.

HHS repudiated reports that it banned words as a “complete mischaracterization,” but rather was guiding CDC toward a successful congressional request. The National Academy Presidents issued a joint statement saying HHS guidance could impede research and “the quality of counsel rendered to government.” This Viewpoint explains why HHS’ budget advice undermines science and ethics — even if it is lawful.

via Language, Science, and Politics: The Politicization of Public Health by Lawrence O. Gostin :: SSRN


Trump Killed Obamacare Repeal | National Review

August 1, 2017

There are a lot of reasons the GOP failed, but the most important was the lack of a president who knew what he was doing.

Source: Trump Killed Obamacare Repeal | National Review


President Trump’s Historic Debt Dilemma | Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget

February 9, 2017

As President Donald Trump begins his term, he faces perhaps the most daunting fiscal situation of any incoming president. President Trump enters office with high levels of debt, rising deficits, major trust funds facing shortfalls, and no agreement on how to address these challenges.

Source: President Trump’s Historic Debt Dilemma | Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget


Green Cards, Patents, and Firm Value by Erdem Aktug :: SSRN

February 8, 2017

This is the first study to use the approved Green Card Applications (or Certified Permanent Residency Applications) from the Program Electronic Review Management (PERM) database, and the first to link the PERM database to patents database kept by the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). We find that the number of approved permanent residency applications (perms, as a percentage of total employment) has a positive impact on firms’ value and growth opportunities proxied by Tobin’s Q (TQ). Specifically, a 1% increase in perms lead to a 15-20% increase in firm value. Although we were not able to confirm that more green cards lead to more innovation, we discover that more innovation gets firms more Green Cards. We find that a 1% increase in the patent variable (patents as a percentage of total employment) lead to a 0.03% increase in Green Card Approvals. Our findings carry importance for US policy makers, firms, investors, and academics.

Source: Green Cards, Patents, and Firm Value by Erdem Aktug :: SSRN


Government Spending and Durable Goods by Christoph Emanuel Boehm :: SSRN

February 8, 2017

This paper shows that the fiscal multiplier for purchases of durable and investment goods is very small – much smaller than the multiplier for nondurable goods. Standard models predict small durables multipliers because private sector purchases of durable goods are highly intertemporally substitutable and therefore easily crowded out. Empirical estimates based on U.S. data confirm this result. In aggregate time series data output rises by about 50 cents less if the government purchases 1$ of durable rather than nondurable goods. At the industry level, spending on durable goods leads to smaller sectoral expansions than spending on nondurable goods. The findings of this paper suggest that infrastructure spending which is frequently part of fiscal stimulus packages is relatively ineffective at raising aggregate demand.

Source: Government Spending and Durable Goods by Christoph Emanuel Boehm :: SSRN


Tom Price, At His Confirmation Hearing, Hints At A New Path For Health Reform

January 27, 2017

There’s a divide emerging between some congressional Republicans, many of whom are eager to repeal Obamacare and comfortable with fewer people being insured as a result, and President Trump, who has promised a plan that will offer “insurance for everybody.”Price, the recently-departed Chairman of the House Budget Committee, understands fiscal and health policy enough to figure out if there’s a way to achieve Trump’s objectives in a way that also satisfies congressional Republicans. It won’t be easy—but it is definitely possible.

Source: Tom Price, At His Confirmation Hearing, Hints At A New Path For Health Reform


Obama makes healthcare plea in handoff letter to Trump | TheHill

January 25, 2017

In the tradition of departing presidents, Barack Obama left a letter for incoming President Donald Trump.  The thrust of the message, which Trump relayed to congressional leaders during their White House meeting Monday evening, was a plea to salvage ObamaCare — or swap it for something at least as generous.

Source: Obama makes healthcare plea in handoff letter to Trump | TheHill